Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has put Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Everton down to a lack of 'cutting edge' and their susceptibility to the counter attack, as the pressure begins to grow on the Norwegian boss.
The Red Devils took the lead through Anthony Martial, but they were pegged back in the second half by Andros Townsend's lightning counter-attack from Man Utd's own corner kick. The hosts failed to snatch all three points, leaving Solskjaer's men in danger of falling further behind in the Premier League title race.
And Solskjaer told BT Sport said that the 'key lesson' Man Utd must learn from this disappointing draw is to be more alert to possible counter attacks, pinpointing the weakness that almost cost them in Wednesday's Champions League win over Villarreal, and did strip them of points against Everton.
“We gave them a few counter attacks. I don’t know the stats. I know we had the ball most of the time. They didn’t play through us, they counter attacked.
"That was the same on Wednesday night. We need to be better on when not to risk it, when not to be counter-attacked. That is the key lesson today because they do create big chances on quick breaks,” the Man Utd boss said.
Despite the dropped points, Solskjaer maintained that the performance was 'really good' in parts, while confessing that the manner in which they were pegged back was 'disappointing.'
“Well, part of it was really good. We started well, high energy, scored a fantastic goal, coming in to half time at 1-0 you’re pleased. In the second half we lacked that cutting edge to get the second, which is vital in a game like this. From a corner that we have, you concede a goal five seconds later. That was the disappointing bit.”
The coach also claimed that Man Utd were not 'too open', but was left frustrated by the lack of bite in the middle of the pitch, as the Toffees escaped a series of weak challenges to find their equaliser.
“No. We weren’t too open. We had enough players behind the ball but we didn’t deal with the tackles we should have. A good goal by them. But when they counter on one side, the finish is going to happen from the other side. We just didn’t regroup or reorganise well enough.
“We didn’t concede many chances today but we conceded a goal. We had to deal with one or two moments and we didn’t in that break on the counter attack and got outmuscled. In every game in the Premier League you can work all day long on the system and defending but it has to be dealt with there and then.”
Solskjaer praised the performance of Martial, who got on the scoresheet, but bemoaned an overall lack of cutting edge, while rejecting the idea that their play was too slow.
“Anthony [Martial] did well, could have a few more with a back post header. He scored a very good goal by the way. The way we switched the play and that was the intention in the second half. We just couldn’t get the cutting edge,” Solskjaer said.
Source : 90min